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Old 16.02.2009, 17:18
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A house thats not a home

Im sure many of you (me included) have at sometime came to live in Geneva and had a hard time setting up a "home". Im not talking about finding a place to live. Im talking about walking in the your house/flat and feeling that you just walked into a nice warm home not a house with four walls and some furniture. I am not sure i explained myself correctly but i hope you understand what i mean. My flat at the moment feels like a temporary student house not somewhere i want to live permanently.

Anyway my question is this: What do you do for your house to have that homely feel? Cats dont help i tried

Maria
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Old 16.02.2009, 17:22
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Re: A house thats not a home

Time takes care of that ...
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Old 16.02.2009, 17:24
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Re: A house thats not a home

Kali mera Maria

Home is where your heart is.
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Old 16.02.2009, 17:26
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Re: A house thats not a home

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Im sure many of you (me included) have at sometime came to live in Geneva and had a hard time setting up a "home". Im not talking about finding a place to live. Im talking about walking in the your house/flat and feeling that you just walked into a nice warm home not a house with four walls and some furniture. I am not sure i explained myself correctly but i hope you understand what i mean. My flat at the moment feels like a temporary student house not somewhere i want to live permanently.

Anyway my question is this: What do you do for your house to have that homely feel? Cats dont help i tried

Maria

I know exactly what you mean. I just moved into an apartment here, and it just reminds me of 2001:A Space Oddessy. Pure white, with no warmth.

I should probably get some furniture... And maybe turn on the Rads
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Old 16.02.2009, 17:28
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Re: A house thats not a home

Every place feels empty, strange, lonely at the beginning, especially if you live there all on your own. Week after week, the place slowly takes on your odors, you put up pictures, curtains, cook your meals, add colors, and all of a sudden it is yours, you feel at home. And then you invite people to your place and even the laughter, the discussions somehow fill the place, the walls, with life.

But then that's just me and how I see it
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Old 16.02.2009, 18:01
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Re: A house thats not a home

Books. Lot's of 'em!
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Old 16.02.2009, 18:15
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Re: A house thats not a home

Mood Lighting-get some nice soft lamps, a shag pile rug for you toes to comb big soft cushions and a scented candle.
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Old 16.02.2009, 18:25
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Re: A house thats not a home

Perhaps you could have some of your favorite photos enlarged and framed. Then sit back and cast your eyes over some happy memories.
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Old 16.02.2009, 18:28
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Re: A house thats not a home

Imagine first what your home, when you were happy, looked like... Try to eliven it with similar decor elements e.g. bright colours and curios of the place where you hail from. Then get your famous DVDs, CDs, books arranged in similar manner as you would have back at home. Cook your favourite meals and enjoy listening to your favourite radio stations and watch TV channels. Most importantly look forward to the holidays and think like you were back home.
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Old 16.02.2009, 18:33
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Re: A house thats not a home

Invite people round. Doesn't matter if they come individually, or in a great mob.

Once you've had guests the place will come to life.

Works for me, anyway.

That, and books, as mentioned above.
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  #11  
Old 16.02.2009, 18:34
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Re: A house thats not a home

I was talking about this very subject with some friends today, and with their various stories, some felt after even 3 years of living in the same apartment/house it's not "home"...

I do have two cats now, and for me, it helps... with my partner, we've been living together in same Basel apartment for now almost 2 years. But before, it was just me and my cat in a small studio "student" apartment in Zurich. That still felt homey to me, because I made it that way.

What makes it home for me?
  • warm, colorful throws and pillows, curtains if you can afford them (I can't but have some things that the cats won't destroy )
  • pictures of family and our vacation pics all over the place
  • stuffed animals toys (no I don't have children)
  • a bit of clutter, lived-in look, not too clean but tidy enough
  • nice smells, candles and room sprays
  • books, plants (in various stages of living )
  • having a washer and dryer in apartment (Basel)
  • knowing my mostly friendly neighbors a bit and being able to speak with them in my bad broken German, they humor me
  • the process of tidying up and having places things should go
  • having friends over (note the spare room is the most spartan room of the entire apartment!!)
  • liking my neighborhood and walking around (yes outside helps you inside)
  • balcony and/or sunny windows
  • good utensils and staples in the kitchen (I don't know why this makes me feel homey, probably because as a student I never had these, and now at my mother's home the pantry is always full of stuff and that's how I keep my home too, whereas as a child we didn't have so much of these things)
I think that's all...

Most of it is an attitude... home is where your heart is... for some people that is their workplace!!! which that's okay too... I've known doctors/residents trainees who sleep at the hospital because it is closer and nicer than their own apartments... so don't think you have it too bad...
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Old 16.02.2009, 18:37
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Re: A house thats not a home

Thanks to all for your replies

They are very usefull keep them coming. I know im not alone out there
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Old 16.02.2009, 18:38
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Re: A house thats not a home

I can donate a cushion or two Maria, if that helps


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Thanks to all for your replies

They are very usefull keep them coming. I know im not alone out there
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  #14  
Old 16.02.2009, 18:48
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Re: A house thats not a home

Cushions are a nice idea since i mostly prefer sitting on the floor. Anybody knows were i can find huge overstuffed cushions in Geneva?
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Old 16.02.2009, 19:50
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Re: A house thats not a home

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Books. Lot's of 'em!
and a well stocked kitchen and a very large wine rack
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Old 16.02.2009, 20:12
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Re: A house thats not a home

It reminds me my early student years in House of Jacaranda in Pretoria, where we used to live in single rooms with shared bathroom and kitchen. The places were murky and daft so that we had to decorate them with stuff. We used to have parties almost every weekend with lots of anxiety from other more dilligent student-neighbours who complained and would call the campus security to sort us out. The social life with weekendly jaunting around and get-togethers at the sports ground with swimming pool and tennis courts rocked. That what kept us going
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Old 16.02.2009, 20:43
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Re: A house thats not a home

A 54 inch flat screen TV and the complete DVD set of Battlestar Galactica.
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Old 16.02.2009, 21:04
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Re: A house thats not a home

I think it takes time. Build some memories of the place. Go get something new like a piece of furniture specifically for the place. That way you have something you may take with you to your next home that ill remind you of this one.

If the white bothers you ask the agency if you can paint. I have seen some apartments where the tenants have an agreement that they can paint the walls a different colour as long as when they leave they return it to the original white
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Old 16.02.2009, 21:30
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Re: A house thats not a home

I think cooking good meals make it a home, so kithcen is our center. Let me think what makes our place homey..The smell of goog food, clean laundry when you iron it, opened window with friendly noises from outside, ton of musical instruments (we are musicians, but to have anything around that feeds creativity is really nice, I always have some knitting lying around, handcraft is great for cozy feel), music on in general creates a good vibe.

Some area rugs, plain colors, simple muselin very thin curtains, not too much kitch, I am not big on little trinkets, wax stuff, lace etc. We try to keep our place airy, offwhite, and wood, warm wool throw over a sofa or a chair, wood and wool are good materials. Just make sure the place is not cramped.

Don't try too hard or too fast, I agree time makes a place pleasant. Unless one is a pack rat.

Be proud of things you want to have around and see everyday, exhibit your photos or paintings on the wall, some things you brought from your home land, family trips. Trust your own taste, some of the modern and sterile hotel like ideas of what a home should look like just do not match with me, old fashioned is sometimes so nice. I patchwork to recycle fabric and make our own cushion covers and such and I must say it gives a place nice warm feel.

I love books so that's a great thing to have around in any quantity, a simple big white bookshelf, we got ours in Ikea, they also have giant cushions, I think we paid 9chf for one. We have little girlands of ligts around, the ones that look like xmas tree lights, it iluminates nicely, you can leave it on the floor, etc.

Plants! I think plants are essential. I have little corners of 3-4 plants in wicker baskets. We have old wodden very bare and simple furniture mixed up with some clever Ikea pieces and it works great.

Just think of your home as a special retreat place, as a workshop or an oasis and surround yourself with things that help you feel that way.
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Old 16.02.2009, 21:49
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Re: A house thats not a home

I've just noticed that you're Greek... in which case, I shall adapt my advice accordingly:

Invite me and the rest of the Swiss rembetes round. We'll bring our baglamades, a nargile or two, and plenty of tsipouro to go round. We'll make sure there's at least one fat taxi driver amongst us to do the zeimbekiko round his glass of whisky. We'll sing, play and make merry, spill wine on your carpets and ash on your divan, then fall into a deep hashish reverie as the last fully conscious member of the group sings a plaintive mane before crashing out with his arms wrapped around your lavatory bowl.

In the morning, we'll invite a priest round to bless your house, being sure to provide a cockerel to strangle, too.

Then, as you prepare your dolmades and (specially for me, having come up with such a brilliant idea to make your house into a true home) kleftiko, you'll look back at the previous 24 hours and wonder how you ever lived there before the manges brought a bit of spirit into the place.

What are you doing next Friday evening?
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